Nearly Half a Million Motorists Caught Without Insurance

Insurance Calculator Shows Protection Of Home InvestmentFigures from a Freedom of Information request show that nearly half a million motorists have been awarded penalty points for driving without insurance in the past three years. It’s a genuinely shocking statistic and begs the question: why are so many motorists prepared to break the law?

Research has revealed that 473,564 drivers were given endorsements for driving without insurance between 2010 and 2013, and these are just the ones that have been caught. In fact, the Motor Insurers’ Bureau (which compensates the victims of uninsured drivers) estimates there are 1.2 million uninsured drivers on the roads.

Uninsured drivers cost the insurance industry £400 million each year, adding £33 to the price of every car insurance policy. While it’s unfair that law-abiding motorists should have to pick-up the tab for the law-breakers, what’s really worrying is the disproportionately high number of accidents caused by uninsured drivers. According to the MIB uninsured drivers are responsible for 130 deaths and 26,000 injuries each year.

The introduction of Continuous Enforcement in 2011, which made it mandatory to register all uninsured vehicles as ‘off road’ with the DVLA, has led to a 34% decrease in the number of uninsured drivers, but there’s still plenty of work to be done.

So what’s driving so many motorists to flout the law? One reason could be the law simply isn’t tough enough. Motorists caught without insurance face a fixed fine of £300 and six penalty points. However, if you consider that the average premium is in the region of £600, and young drivers can pay in excess of £2,000, the fine is hardly a significant deterrent. Previous research showed that motorists would support fines of £900 for uninsured drivers.

When cases go to court the maximum penalty can climb to £5,000 (and disqualification) although the average is just a fraction at £322. There’s also a question of inconsistency across the country with court fines varying from an average of just £260 in South Yorkshire to an average of £385 in Warwickshire.

Tougher fines would doubtless discourage some offenders, but surely six penalty points are enough to put-off most motorists? Well unfortunately not, the same research revealed that 1,414 motorists hold a valid licence, despite having 12 or more penalty points, and one driver from Kent still holds a license despite having accrued a staggering 54 points. So perhaps it’s also time for judges to be a little less lenient when allowing motorists to keep their driving licenses?

Of course it’s great news that the number of uninsured drivers is falling, but with a little more joined-up thinking, and tougher penalties, we could stamp-out the menace altogether.

And besides with great deals on car insurance from Quoteline Direct; there really aren’t any excuses!

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